Today, I will share with you our easy homemade lemon marmalade recipe, one of our favorite homemade marmalade. We haven’t bought marmalade or jam since February 2020 because we started making our own. Homemade is way better and healthier because we have full control over what ingredients to put and how much to use.
Our easy homemade lemon marmalade recipe is based on the recipe of Auntie Saniye, a great cook Youtuber from Turkey. I find her recipe the easiest to follow among so many videos that I watched.
But we made our own version of it by using our own raw honey, instead of sugar, and we don’t add water.
Super Easy Homemade Lemon Marmalade Recipe
- 2 kg lemons
- 1 kg honey
Step-by-step Instructional Video From Auntie Saniye
Lessons Learned From Making Homemade Lemon Marmalade
- Use organic lemons as much as possible since you will be using the peels. Non-organic ones are coated with wax. But if you can’t find organic lemons, make sure to clean and scrub the lemons thoroughly to remove the wax coating.
- Make sure not to skip the step of boiling the lemon peels to remove the bitter taste. Our 3rd (recent) batch of lemon marmalade was made by the husband in the garage to have access to a very huge pot and huge working area because we had about 20 kilos of lemon to turn into marmalade. He didn’t boil the peels because he forgot and didn’t know that I did it with our 1st and 2nd batch. We tried it in the evening and to our dismay, it was very bitter. 🙁 We tried it again in the morning and it had the same bitter taste and he announced: we have to throw them! And I said in a loud voice: NO WAYYY! We won’t be throwing 40 kilos of lemon marmalade to the drain! We tasted the marmalade after 3 days and the bitter taste was not that strong anymore and the bitter taste got less and less strong as days go by. Thank God! So, please don’t skip the boiling of lemon peels part.
- Make sure to stir the mixture very often to avoid lemons sticking into the bottom of the pot. I was a bit distracted making our 2nd batch, so I didn’t stir as often as I should. The next time I came to stir the mixture, some lemons that were already burnt were sticking into the ladle.:( Thankfully, it was not that bad.
- We tried putting the marmalade into storing jars while it’s still very hot. Covered the jars and put them upside down to seal because I read that it can be done instead of water bathing. But further readings confirmed that this practice which is called “inversion canning” is no longer recommended because it has been proven unsafe. You can read a very detailed post about it at Healthy Canning.
What’s The Difference Between Marmalade, Jam, and Jelly?
After making our 2nd batch of lemon marmalade, a thought suddenly came to mind. Why do we call it marmalade and not jam or jelly? So I made a bit of research to know the difference. And here’s a short explanation from masterclass.com:
Jam is made from whole or cut-up pieces of fruit with sugar, while jelly is made from only the fruit juice and sugar. Marmalade is preserves made with citrus—using the whole fruit, along with the rind.
You can read the detailed explanation of their differences here.
Do You Need Pectin In Making Marmalade?
Pectin is a kind of starch and its main use is as a gelling agent, thickening agent, and stabilizer in food according to Wikipedia. Most jelly and jam recipes use pectin, but marmalade doesn’t need pectin because lemons and other citrus fruits are already high in pectin.
Why Make Your Own Marmalade, Jam, Or Jelly?
When I was still single in 2016, I started to eat healthier and read articles about healthy eating. I chanced upon an article on how to properly read food labels. It was very informative because it said that the ingredients on labels are written according to the percentage, highest to lowest.
Since then, I already have the habit of looking at food labels. And it’s shocking because there are a lot of store-bought things that the first one on the ingredients list is SUGAR! And this includes jams and marmalade. It means that the ingredient with the highest percentage is SUGAR compared to the other ingredients on the list.
If you take a look at a marmalade or jam label, some even say the percentage number. For example, 75% sugar, 25% strawberries. Imagine, you are eating more sugar than fruit and all along you think that you are eating a healthy jam or marmalade!
Making your own marmalade, jelly, or jam in the comfort of your home means that you can control the ingredients and the amount to use. You can definitely lower the sugar and increase the fruit for a healthier version.
Moreover, making homemade stuff is fun and very satisfying. It also helps in reducing plastic packaging and plastic waste at home. This is the main reason why I started to make homemade yogurt in 2018.
Try this super easy lemon homemade marmalade recipe in the comfort of your home for a healthier version of lemon marmalade.
But if you don’t have time, don’t worry, you can still buy a healthier version of your favorite marmalade or jam, just make sure to check the labels and buy the one that has a high fruit content than sugar.
Do you make your own marmalade or jam, too? If yes, what’s your favorite recipe? If not yet, would you like to try making one? Let me know in the comment section below.